Madison Eiberger, Campus Carrier Staff Writer
Sophomore wide receiver Mason Kinsey has dominated the football field. Kinsey has quickly become a key player in the Berry College offense and has set Berry and career records this year.
Kinsey is from Demorest, Ga. where he played at Habersham Central High School. There he was a two time All-Region selection, an All-Area Team selection, the team MVP and the second all time leading receiver.
In his first year playing for Berry College Kinsey played in a total of eight games scoring one touchdown recording 101 yards.
This year, Kinsey has started in all 12 games for the Vikings, including two playoff games, with a total of 17 touchdowns and 1245 yards. In his senior year of highschool, Kinsey recorded four touchdowns total. This year Kinsey scored four touchdowns in a single game against Millsaps College. Kinsey set both a personal record and a Berry record for recording the most touchdown receptions in a single game.
The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) recognized Kinsey for his performance against Rhodes College naming him the SAA Offensive Player of the Week. He is currently ranked third in the nation for NCAA Division III receiving touchdowns.
Kinsey also scored both of the Vikings touchdowns in round two of the playoffs against St. Thomas University, ranked fourth in DIII.
In his junior year of high school, Kinsey made the decision to continue his playing career in college. However, his senior year is when the hard work began. In the opening game of his senior year Kinsey scored the first touchdown on the second drive of the game.
Berry College happened to be the last school he visited as well as the smallest. The coaches were one of the big deciding factors as to why he chose Berry.
“When I took my recruiting visit and talked with the coaches I knew I would be able to contribute a lot as a freshman, and that my future could be very bright at Berry.” Kinsey said. “I definitely think I made the right choice.”
Last year, the Berry football team had a total of 31 seniors graduate, leaving many open starting positions.
Wanting one of those starting positions, he continued to work hard in the off-season doing whatever he could to stay at the top of his game. He spent his summer in the weight room as well as running drills with teammates.
“This summer I really wanted to focus a lot of explosiveness after the catch and running crisper routes,” Kinsey said.
Kinsey went home for the first five weeks of summer where he was able to workout in his high school weight room and practice on their field with some previous teammates. Kinsey also worked with Tavarres King, a wide receiver who played for the University of Georgia and plays for the New York Giants. King helped Kinsey workout and better develop his game while at home.
He spent the rest of his summer with many of his teammates, including quarterback Slade Dale. Both Kinsey and Dale had summer jobs that they worked during the day. Kinsey even worked with a few defensive players on how they viewed particular plays, and how he could make them better.
“Mason is able to make some really great plays,” Dale said. “We worked so hard over the summer, and it’s really showing on the field,”
When time came around for training camp in the fall he came back better, faster and stronger.
“Going into the season, we felt like Mason was going to be a key guy in our program,” Head Coach Tony Kunczewski said “Even recruiting him out of high school, we as a coaching staff knew he had the potential to be a really great player. One of the main reasons he is so special is because he works so hard.”
Kinsey also believes a lot of the team’s success has come from their support system.
“I am so thankful for the student body and the fans that come to our games,” Kinsey said. “Playing at home gives us such an edge because we know Valhalla Stadium will be packed out with our awesome fans.”
Even as a sophomore, Kinsey has been able to do some great things on the field for Berry. He has become a key player in Berry’s offense. He has helped lead the team to a 11-1 record and advance to the second round of playoffs for the first time in program history. However, this is just the start for Mason Kinsey.